I am glad that I was mentally prepared and got a good chunk of my crying and worry out of the way yesterday evening.
Pathology should be back within 5-7 days. There is a 10% chance that it is not malignant. After pathology is confirmed we will run blood tests, urine samples and full body x-rays. These diagnostics should determine 1 – whether the cancer has metastasized, and 2- whether or not she is even a candidate for surgery.
I am planning on making all the decisions based on Hocus’ Quality of Life, not quantity of life. She is after all a geriatric kitty. Surgery would only be an option if the cancer has not spread and she is not in a high risk category of going under anaesthesia, or the if the tumor breaks through the skin wall and begins to cause concern (I will spare you the icky details about that). Chemotherapy is not even an option. It is my will not to cause Hocus any unnecessary stress or trauma . I keep reminding myself that every decision I make from here on out is for her, not for me.
To date, Hocus has had a full wonderfully spoiled life. I was reading in a chart in the exam room today that she is the equivalent of 82 years old. That is a good long life. I plan on making her remaining days as happy as all her previous days and as comfortable for her as I can. It is unclear at this point how much time we have left together, but from what I have read probably less than a year, likely 5-6 months. If it comes to her being in pain, suffering, not eating, not enjoying her life, then I will make the difficult decisions.
Right now Hocus is not acting sick in any way. I am unsure whether she knows that she is diseased. She seems to be really enjoying the Reiki sessions with me everyday and wants me to have my hands on her all the time (more than usual that is). She is happy, playful, affectionate and my goal is for her to remain that way for as long as she can. She is sleeping right now in the sun next to me out on the deck, absorbing all those good warm healing spring sun rays.
I am OK with this. Yes it is hard, yes it will get harder, and it is sad, but I cannot change what is. Fact -We all die someday. I just feel like I have been challenged a little too much this year in the death department. I have experienced, “suffered”, many losses this past year, some people I knew intimately and some only acquaintances, but all significant in their own way. I count seven total. I know there is a lesson in all this death somewhere, I guess I have not learned it yet because I feel like I keep getting challenged & tested by it. Either that or it might be the fact that I am inching nearly a year towards turning forty. I think I like the “lesson” scenario better.
I want to end with two quotes I found on a a Buddhist blog & website about the Buddhist perspective towards healing from grief and loss. They make sense to me and resonate some beauty for me in this challenging time.
It is best to expect to be up and down and just take each day and each experience as it comes. It is thinking that we should be feeling something other than what we are feeling that makes things so difficult. The thing is to train ourselves to be as simple as we can be – simply feeling sad, simply feeling angry, simply feeling awful or happy for that matter. That way we somehow can honour each experience and from that some inspiration naturally arises …….and we find the inspiration to somehow open up into the moment and live it in a way that feels meaningful and good. Somehow we have the power within us to do that – it is what we are – we are that openness, that awareness and that sensitivity, responsiveness and its feels good somehow. It is how it is and how we want it to be somehow.
I’m reminded of a Buddhist teaching I was given in England, by the 10 year old daughter of one of my classmates, Heather. “How do we hold on to the things we love?” her mother asked. “Like this,” she replied, with her hand outstretched, palm up, fingers open.
This is the epitome of accepting love, the gentle way we hold all that which is precious and delicate.